This week in local history

Published 10:10 am Monday, May 6, 2019

By the Bell County Historical Society

The following events occurred during the week of May 5-11 in Bell County:

1893: The Saratoga Saloon on the southwest corner of 21st and Cumberland Ave. was advertising beer, liquor, wine and cigars along with a choice free lunch. The bill of fare featured roast pig, boiled ham and roast beef.

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1898: Company F started for Lexington with a full company of 84 volunteers, ready to fight in the Spanish-American War. A huge crowd gathered at Fountain Square to watch them drill and hear speeches. There were fireworks and calcium lights. The company then marched to the railroad depot accompanied by Col. Frank Emery and his colored band.

1905: All 40 rooms of the annex to the Cumberland Hotel were finished and ready for occupancy. The hotel was located at 18th and Cumberland across from the train depot.

1917: A caravan of gypsies passed through Bell County in trucks. The paper noted that they used to come through with wagons and horses and were known as sharp horse traders.

1928: A large tent revival was held by the Christian Church. Sixty members were added to the congregation and $27,000 was secured for the building fund, which allowed the resumption of construction on a new church building.

1931: A mass meeting was held to discuss how to deal with lawlessness in the city. The paper reported, “The young people of the city…are allowed to congregate on the streets and in the poolrooms and candy kitchens and to loiter there, where they are subject to all kinds of evil.”

1940: The newly organized Art Club met at the home of Mrs. Neil Barry. Miss Betty Sue McCamy gave a paper on “Art and the War and it was announced that the sketch group would meet the second Tuesday of each month.

1948: Babe Zaharias, known as “the greatest woman athlete,” played an 18-hole exhibition match at the Middlesboro Country Club.

1965: The city issued Tenn-Flake bonds, issued bonds for an expansion of Perma-Pipe and approved a lease for a building at the industrial park with F. Jacobson & Sons, a shirt manufacturer.

To learn more about local history, visit the Bell County Museum, located just north of the Middlesboro Post Office, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.